A Texas woman in her 20’s caught the coronavirus after she went to a party with friends and unknowingly infected her grandfather, who later passed away from the deadly virus.
Dr. Joseph Chang, the chief medical officer at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, has revealed the heartbreaking stories that he’s seen unfold in the hospital’s COVID-19 patient units.
He said the hospital treated 55 percent more COVID-19 patients in July than in June. The spike in infections, a more than 200 percent jump from May, is overwhelming local hospitals.
‘There are stories behind each of those statistics,’ Chang said to WFAA. ‘The human toll of COVID is really the untold story.’
’20-something year old girl went to a party with a friend, got COVID. Before she was symptomatic visited her 80-year-old grandparents and they got sick.’
Chang said all three ended up at the UCI unit.
‘The granddaughter who brought COVID to her grandparents was admitted to the ICU and intubated,’ he said.
‘Ten days later woke up, but her grandfather had passed a day before she woke back up,’ he added.
Chang says that stories like these aren’t only heartbreaking for families, they take a monumental mental and emotional toll on hospital workers scrambling to save lives.
‘I’ve started mandating people to take time off. I just told them, I’m not letting you work today. You need to go home,’ he said.
As of July 21 Parkland Hospital was treating 170 patients.
Overall, 75 percent of Parkland’s patients are Hispanic, 60 percent are under the age of 45 and the hospital has had to open a fourth specialized coronavirus unit.
In Texas 351,600 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 4,300 people have died, as per government data from Wednesday.
Nationally, there are more than 3.97 million COVID-19 cases and over 143,100 deaths.
But Chang says there’s hope as the coronavirus death rate at the hospital is just one percent.
‘Only one percent. That’s far lower than nationally reported rates. But behind those numbers are people. And you really don’t want it to be you.’
Chang explained that although the hospital is seeing a surge in COVID-19 patients, about the same number of people overcome the virus and leave the hospital.
He attributes this to the Texas’ statewide mask mandate which went into effect on July 3. He says he’s more oprtimistic about the virus now thtat the state seems to be taking the contagious respiratory disease more seriously.